Suzuki have pegged a firm hold in the South African hatchback market, offering the Celerio, Splash, Swift, and the SX4 Crossover SUV with some semblance of success. Last year they added a small sedan to the range with the Swift Dzire; but the styling was a little less than desirable to some, and to others it was just a bit too small. Now, the brand is launching a bigger, more stylish sedan, and they’ve called it the Ciaz.
Originally displayed as a concept at the Delhi Auto Show last year, the Ciaz has now reached the South African market, with the Japanese brand hoping to cash in on the fans of the brand that need the extra style and practicality. Instead of sharing and modifying an existing vehicle, the Ciaz has been designed as a standalone model, allowing a far more contemporary design language that, quote from Suzuki, “oozes aesthetic appeal.” To my eyes, they’ve done a half decent job of it. Whilst it isn’t going to win any design awards, it looks appealing and cleverly packaged and overall a rather solid proposition, especially when squaring up against the Toyota Corolla Quest – the most direct price and segment appropriate competitor.
Speaking of price appropriateness, the Ciaz’ pricing starts off at R179 900 for the entry spec GL model, whilst the only other spec level, the GLX, gets a price tag of R199 900 for the manual gearbox, with the automatic-equipped variant being the only R200k+ model at R214 900. All prices include a standard three-year/100 000 km warranty, and a three-year/60 000 km service plan.
For that money, you get a 4-door sedan boasting 160mm ground clearance, a 2650mm long wheelbase, and a spacious 495-litre boot with the rear seats still in place, and a full-size 15-inch spare wheel beneath the floor. A multifunction trip monitor, multifunction steering wheel, electric windows and mirrors, climate control, remote central locking, 6-speaker sound system, radio with CD player, Bluetooth connectivity, and USB and auxiliary inputs. Safety also comes standard, with the Ciaz featuring ABS brakes, with EBD and EBA, as well as dual front airbags, side impact protection beams, and child locks on the rear doors. The standard spec GL model, in addition to the above, features cloth upholstery.
The GLX variant benefits from an upgrade to leather upholstery, a leather steering wheel, 16-inch alloy wheels, chrome coloured body accents, front fog lamps, electrically folding side mirrors, keyless start, and a height adjustable driver’s seat, as well as an assortment of additional bits of satin and chrome trim to give it a more premium feel.
Powering the Ciaz is a familiar engine to Suzuki aficionados – the 1.4-litre 4-cylinder unit found in the Suzuki Swift, boasting outputs of 70kW @ 6000rpm and a torque figure of 130Nm @ 4000rpm. Driving the front wheels through either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission, claimed consumption in the Ciaz is set at 5.4-5.5l/100km. Expect the automatic variant to be a fair bit heavier on fuel though, whilst the manual variant has proven itself to match, and even beat claimed figures in the Swift on previous tests with us.
At launch, the Suzuki Ciaz looks to be a promising contender against the likes of the Toyota Corolla Quest, offering space, economy, and a fairly comprehensive feature list all at a relatively decent price. Suzuki peace of mind is also a compelling point to consider if you’re in the market for a compact sedan. Look out for the full TCR road test of the Suzuki Ciaz, coming soon.